2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction

June 9, 2013

On June 5th the winner of the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced in London. American author A.M. Homes won for her sixth novel May We Be Forgiven. The prize, formally known as the Orange Prize, is awarded annually to celebrate “excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.” Due to sponsorship changes the prize will be known next year as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Links to the Minutemen Catalog records for the winner and the other finalists on the short list are below.


A.M. Homes, May We Be Forgiven, Granta, American, 6th Novel


Kate Atkinson, Life After Life, Doubleday, British, 8th Novel

Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior, Faber & Faber, American, 8th Novel

Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies, Fourth Estate, British, 11th Novel

Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, American, 2nd Novel

Zadie Smith, NW, Hamish Hamilton, British, 4th Novel


New York Times Article: What I Read That Summer

June 1, 2013

The New York Times recently posted an article about a summer reading list they put together by asking twelve writers to describe memorable summer reading experiences. The entire article is a wonderful read, it can be accessed on the New York Time‘s website: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/books/review/what-i-read-that-summer.html?smid=pl-share.

Links to the books recommended by the authors are below:

2013 Pulitzer prize Winners for Letters

April 21, 2013

The 2013 winners of the Pulitzer Prize in the Letters category were announced on Monday, April 15th. The winners are listed below along with links to their catalog records in The Newton Free Library’s online catalog.

FICTION – The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

HISTORY – Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall

BIOGRAPHY – The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

POETRY – Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds

GENERAL NONFICTION – Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King

Some Suggestions for Cooking Memoirs

April 7, 2013

Below are some links about classic and recently published cookbook-memoirs, a popular and growing genre of literature.

Search the Minuteman Library Catalog for cooking memoirs available from the library.

Orion Magazine Book Awards

March 30, 2013

Orion Magazine is a nature focused bimonthly periodical with offices in Great Barrington, MA; it is published in collaboration with the Myrin Institute. “Orion’s first Editor-in-Chief, George Russell, boldly stated Orion’s values: ‘It is Orion’s fundamental conviction that humans are morally responsible for the world in which we live, and that the individual comes to sense this responsibility as he or she develops a personal bond with nature.'”

Orion’s mission is to inform, inspire, and engage individuals and grassroots organizations in becoming a significant cultural force for healing nature and community. The Orion Book Award is given annually to a book that addresses the human relationship with the natural world in a fresh, thought provoking, and engaging manner. Four additional books are named as finalists. Books eligible for the Orion Book Award are judged against these criteria: that it deepens our connection to the natural world, that it presents new ideas about our relationship with nature, and that it achieves excellence in writing. The Orion Book Award recognizes books published in North America during the previous calendar year.”

The 2013 Orion Book Award finalists are listed below along with links to their records in the Minuteman Catalog. The winner will be announced during the second week of April just before Earth Day.

 Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth, by Craig Childs (Pantheon Books)
• Flight Behavior: A Novel, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
• Things That Are: Essays, by Amy Leach (Milkweed Editions)
• The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert Macfarlane (Viking)
• The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up on the Big Dry, by Joe Wilkins (Counterpoint)

National Book Critics Circle Awards for Publishing Year 2012

March 9, 2013

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) announced its book awards for publishing year 2012 on Thursday, February 28th in New York. The NBCC was founded in 1974, its mission is to honor “outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature.”  The NBCC awards “honor the best literature published in the United States in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. These are the only national literary awards chosen by critics themselves.” A list of the winners for the 2012 publishing year is below along with links to their catalog records in the Minuteman Library Network Catalog.


D. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf Press)


Marina Warner, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (Belknap Press: Harvard University Press)


Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies (Blue Rider Press)


Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Alfred A. Knopf)


Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner)


Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco)

Oscar Winning Novels

February 23, 2013

The Huffington Post recently posted a list (created by Random House) of novels that were adapted into films that won an Oscar at the Academy Awards. Links to the book records in the Newton Free Library Minuteman Catalog are below. The full article can be read on the Huffington Post, “Academy Award Books: Oscar-Winning Tomes From Years Past” and on the Random House Blog.

Mutiny On The Bounty
By: Charles Nordhoff
The award: The film adaptation of this 1932 novel won Best Picture for 1935 and starred Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone.

Gone With The Wind
By: Margaret Mitchell
The award: When this book originally published in 1936, was adapted to film, it took home the prize of Best Picture in 1939. It once again starred Clark Gable.

By: Daphne du Maurier (1938)
The award: When a naive young woman marries a rich widower and settles in his gigantic mansion, she finds the memory of the first wife maintaining a grip on her husband and the servants. This film won Best Picture in 1940.

By: William Shakespeare (approximately 1599)
The award: “To be, or not to be.” The film took home the prize of Best Picture in the year 1948, though the 1996 version (with Kenneth Branagh) was also nominated for four Academy Awards.

All The King’s Men
By: Robert Penn Warren (1946)
The award: Robert Rossen directed the film version of this tome. It won Best Picture for 1949, though another version was made in 2006.

Around The World In Eighty Days
By: Jules Verne
The award: This adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel about a Victorian Englishman won Best Picture in the year 1956.

The Bridge Over The River Kwai
By: Pierre Boulle
The award: This film adaptation of this 1952 book starred William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins and it took home the prize of Best Picture in 1957.

Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ
By: Lew Wallace
The award: Lew Wallace wrote the book in 1880, and Karl Tunberg wrote the screenplay that took home the Oscar for Best Picture in 1959.

Romeo And Juliet
By: William Shakespeare (approximately 1594)
The award: This classic love story took the form of a musical when it was adapted into the film West Side Story, starring Natalie Wood. It won Best Picture in 1961.

Oliver Twist
By: Charles Dickens
The award: The musical adaptation of this 1838 book about an orphan won Best Picture in 1968.

The Godfather
By: Mario Puzo
The award: When Marlon Brando and Al Pacino brought this 1969 book to life in 1972, it took home the prize for Best Picture the same year.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
By: Ken Kesey (1962)
The award: There was no one better to play the role of R.P. McMurphy than Jack Nicholson. The movie won Best Picture in 1975.

Dances With Wolves
By: Michael Blake
The award: Lt. John Dunbar befriends an unlikely beast in this adaptation of the 1988 book. This film won the Oscar in 1990 for Best Picture.

The Silence Of The Lambs
By: Thomas Harris
The award: One of the scariest films ever! Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins brought Thomas Harris’ characters to life in this film adaptation of the 1988 book. It won Best Picture in 1991.

Forrest Gump
By: Winston Groom
The award: Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. In this case, the film adaptation of Groom’s 1986 book starring Tom Hanks took home the award for Best Picture in 1994.

The English Patient
By: Michael Ondaatje
The award: Michael Ondaatje’s 1992 book came to life on the big screen in 1996 and took home the prize for Best Picture the same year.

The Lord Of The Rings
By: J.R.R. Tolkien (1955)
The award: Hobbits and The Shire came to life the trilogy of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic trilogy that started with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final book in the series, won Best Picture in 2003.

Brokeback Mountain
By: Annie Proulx
The award: Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger brought this 1997 love story to the screen in 2005. It took home the prize of Best Picture in the same year.

No Country For Old Men
By: Cormac McCarthy (2005)
The award: Adapted into film in 2007, this gripping story won Best Picture and starred Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin.

Slumdog Millionaire
By: Vikas Swarup
The award: Slumdog Millionaire was the adaptation of the 2005 novel Q & A by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup. The film adaptation won Best Picture in 2008.